Why we should learn from children

Why are children able to be happy and full of energy all the time? Why do they never worry and get stressed? Is it only because they do not know the sorrows of this world and do not have any responsibilities? Well, this is only part of the reason why children are simply happy. It definitely helps in being happy, and certainly, a life of a child cannot be compared to an adult’s life. Yet, I believe that these little beings can teach us a lot about what we, as adults, are trying to desperately include in our lives; happiness, inner peace and satisfaction. You might think, children are supposed to learn from adults, so why should we look at them and try to learn from them? Below are 5 key reasons why children can be true teachers of happiness.

 

  • They see every morning as a new start.

Who doesn’t know the enthusiasm of children getting up in the morning and instantly having as much energy as we wouldn’t even have in one week? In their eyes we can see the excitement of starting a new day, discovering new things and simply living life. Surely, we have to get up, probably go to school, university or work, but also the ones among us who are able to stay at home, will not jump out of bed with joy and look forward to every single day. We have forgotten how grateful we can be to get the chance of experiencing a new day. Even if we do not have the time to do whatever we would like to do due to responsibilities, we still can focus on little things that we will newly discover on that day, situations in which we can improve compared to the last day, or feelings we can create by focusing on the good. An easy way of looking forward to every single day is to start focusing on this particular day. We can learn from yesterday’s mistakes and improve, even if it is just a little bit. We can also set the stone for better days to come. Yet, we do not need to focus on yesterday or tomorrow, but only on today. That doesn’t mean that we should not think about past or future situations, however, they should not be the focus of our attention. By seeing each day as an opportunity, a new chance to make things better, rather than just another day of battles and stress, the focus shifts towards a more grateful approach of the day, which then will slowly create more energy as positivity is the focus of attention.

 

  • They find and see beauty everywhere.

Sometimes, when everything goes wrong, it is difficult to see the beauty that surrounds us every day. The beauty of nature and humans are often forgotten and replaced by negative thoughts about this world. I think we all know how children respond to a flower, the sun or simply a ladybeetle on the street. Their eyes widen and you see them smiling. It seems to be such an easy thing to do, yet, we find it almost impossible to find happiness in seeing the sun, or flowers that we can find almost everywhere. Just imagine, we could enhance our mood by focusing on the flowers we find in our garden, or a cat that crosses our way, or even the fact that we can see the sun. All these small things give huge pleasure and happiness to children. By trying to appreciate them, we can build little, but many triggers of happiness in our daily lives without even changing anything, as these things are accessible for us every single day. Surely, these are just little things, but they do add up if being considered every day.

 

  • They are led by courage, and not fear.

Most of the children would never stop climbing up a high climbing frame just because they are scared of falling down. That does not mean, they do not fear that this could happen, it simply means that their enthusiasm and trust in themselves are bigger than their fears. Certainly, there are situations where we have to watch over children so that they do not bring themselves into danger, however, this reality that we have to take on as adults, even stops us from persuading things that are not dangerous to us and just need a little bit more courage. We have the ability to distinguish between danger and challenge, we know that challenge is there to get us where we want to be, whereas danger should be avoided (I assume we all know the difference between jumping out of a plane without being secured and applying for that job we never think we could get). Yet, we keep an attitude within ourselves that prevents us from going for challenges, just because we mentally class them into the same section as we would do with danger. We could learn from children, to believe in ourselves to go for what we think we are not capable of doing, without thinking that failure would mean the end of the world. We could even look forward to challenges as they give us the opportunity to grow and progress.

 

  • If they fail, they get up and try again.

Following our last point, we might decide to take on a new challenge and we might end up failing the goal we aimed to achieve. Now for most of us that would mean, never try it again, we would tell ourselves that we knew that will never work and blame ourselves for even trying. Imagine a child using his or her bike for the first time and not being able to keep the balance, that child is most likely to fall, not only once, but couple of times, before he or she can figure out how to ride a bike. Does the initial failure prevent children to ride a bike? I think we all know that every child will jump on the bike again and try and try until they achieve their goal. My sister even had a major injury when riding her bike, but it didn’t prevent her from jumping on onto her bike and try again. Adults, on the contrary, are so terrified of setbacks that they won’t even try again. We worry about what others might think and what could happen if we fail a second or third time. We are sometimes even embarrassed to admit that we haven’t achieved our goals and rather hide it by stop talking about it so that everyone forgets about it as quickly as possible. Not to mention that we would try again. Yet, we should think about how we perceive a child that tries over and over again, do we feel sorry for that child and embarrassed, or do we rather think how brave and persistent that child is? If we are honest, seeing someone, child or adult, trying to achieve a goal or dream over and over again, we admire this person for being that courageous. We wish to be like that person and maybe will be inspired to do so as well. However, when it comes to ourselves, we never think of it that way, we are too hard with judging ourselves that we forget that every successful person has failed several times in life but has not given up. That is how children become adults. If they would give up, they would never learn what is needed to become an adult.

 

  • They smile a lot.

Whoever has experienced buses, trains or tubes in the morning when commuters rush to work, will know that smiling faces are something that we will very rarely find on these journeys. It certainly depends on the country you are living in, but people mostly find it more appropriate to be quiet and “professional” than to show feelings and smile. Society tells us that adults should control their emotions and that is why it is quiet difficult to smile when going throughout the day. We associate serious people with reliability and professionalism, yet, we know that our Prophet (saw) had a very joyful and smiling nature that was affecting everybody around him in a positive way. He even considered a smile towards someone else as charity. Children have surely understood this concept and the smile of a child is truly catching and genuine. Smiling more often is also proven to be good for our health and mood as it releases endorphins. Most experts even suggest to just putting on a smile on days when we do not feel like smiling as the brain cannot distinguish between a fake smile and a genuine smile and automatically associates positivity with it. However, we should aim at really internalise what this smile is supposed to mean to ourselves. A smile can always be a sign that we appreciate what we have, a sign of gratitude. Following this concept, a smile can never be fake, as we can acknowledge what blessings we have, even if not everything is perfect.

 

Learning from children and their behaviour does not mean that we have to neglect our duties as adults. Every span of life has its good aspects and its difficulties. As adults we have a lot more duties and responsibility, both religiously and in general, yet, we are also blessed with lots of abilities, foremost to be able to make decisions independently. However, we can adapt characteristics of children, as they show us that simplicity in a higher definition is the only key to reach true happiness.

Nedda Bahadori

While I was always interested in Fashion and Psychology, I discovered the beauty of Islam in my early 20s. It did not just change my whole habits, way of thinking and behaviour, but it gave me a meaning to everything I couldnt really explain or failed to see meaning in. I love reading, learning about the unconscious force that drive people along with all psychological aspects of life, shopping as well as eating. My believe is that we cannot change what happen or will happen to us as this is not in our hands, it is with Allah (swt) to what our destiny is, but we can certainly chose how to respond to our circumstances as Allah (swt) gave us the ability to make decisions.

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